U.S. Policy Towards Venezuela Turned Into ‘Meme’, Russia Says

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U.S. Policy Towards Venezuela Turned Into 'Meme', Russia Says

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The US policy towards Venezuela has turned into ‘meme’, a spokesperson for the Russian Foreign Ministry, Maria Zakharova, says. During the recent press briefing, she adressed the current situation in Venezuela and US attempts to destabilize the country (source):

We see new alarming features in Venezuela and continued attempts to destabilise the country by external actors. Washington keeps saying – this has become an international meme by now – that “all options are on the table,” which includes a military one, as far as we can see.

Deliberate actions are being taken in Washington to create a context for this. Any unbiased observer can see that the plans for a rapid removal of the legitimate – I repeat, legitimate – government of President Nicolas Maduro have failed. Their masterminds have misjudged the public support for the government (even despite the economic difficulties), the loyalty of the army and the real influence of the opposition, especially its radical wing.

Overall, the coup’s ideologists started off on the wrong foot. The stifling sanctions have hit the interests of common people. It should be said that although the scenario had a different target, it was ordinary Venezuelans that took the brunt of the blow. As the result, these operations have only complicated the lives of common people in Venezuela still more.

It is for a reason that everything possible has been done to provoke a halt (we hope it will be a temporary suspension) of the intra-Venezuelan talks in the Norwegian format.

At the same time, efforts have been taken to increase mistrust between Venezuela and neighbouring Colombia, which is at a complicated stage of trying to overcome half a century of political confrontation by negotiating peace agreements between the Government and the rebels.

These operations are based on the classical formulas of information warfare. We can tell you about them in great detail from our own experience. For example, the media publish “secret” documents, which later turn out to be fake but first this leak is taken as a reason for taking adverse foreign policy decisions.

On September 11, the day of the 46th anniversary of Pinochet’s military coup against the Popular Unity government in Chile) the Organisation of American States decided to convene the so-called meeting of consultations [Meeting of OAS Ministers of  Foreign Affairs], which can invoke the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) in response to the crisis in Venezuela.

We believe that this can have a dangerous effect on regional security and stability in South America.

Just a few facts for your information: The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (Spanish abbreviation TIAR), commonly known as the Rio Treaty, was signed in September 1947. It is an instrument of the Cold War and the Monroe Doctrine and a relic from a period when Washington was working consistently to create NATO-like regional military blocs around the world. Of course, many things have changed in the 50-odd years that followed. Many of the signatory countries have withdrawn from the Rio Treaty, which now has 16 out of the initial 35 member states from North and Latin America, plus the self-proclaimed government of Juan Guaido. However, the document is still alive and, as it turned out, can be successfully manipulated under certain conditions.

Furthermore, all this is happening ahead of a regular session of the UN General Assembly, which objectively offers an opportunity for additional publicity, including for deplorable events.

In this connection, we would like to appeal not so much to Washington as primarily to Latin American states.

We know about and appreciate your firm position on the use of military options to “settle” international problems. Military options are not regarded as legitimate in Latin America. Five years ago, in 2014, the Latin American and Caribbean countries proclaimed their region a zone of peace. We believe it vitally important that no one rise to the provocation of creating a casus belli. This can meet someone’s interests, but definitely not the interests of Latin Americans.

I appeal to Latin American countries and people once again: Don’t let yourself be deluded!

We will continue trying to develop constructive cooperation with all the regional countries, even if someone outside the region does not like this. Even if there are slight differences in the assessment of developments, they must not be used to escalate tensions or damage our relations with our Latin American and Caribbean partners.

We would like to “ask” US officials once more: Please, stop trying to scare us with new sanctions intended to “punish” Russian economic operators for their cooperation with Venezuela. There is nothing new in this approach, as we know very well. The sanctions, which Washington is threatening to adopt, are absolutely illegitimate and are nothing other than an instrument of unfair competition that is used to gain access to unilateral advantages.

I would like to say once again that a combination of economic aggression with a permanent threat of military force used against a sovereign state is an unacceptable “might is right” policy that is damaging international law and [is contrary to] the UN Charter.

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